It's been a struggle. My motivation is dropping. I mostly just don't feel like exercising much lately, probably because the one activity I love the most isn't available to me. I'll get over it.
In my previous posts about people trying to shed that "last 10 pounds" and athletes in particular wanting to improve at their sport I talked about stress reduction being key. I actually think stress reduction is where everyone should focus much more of their attention. Whether it's getting more sleep, rest or developing a mediation habit we'd all do better to regulate our cortisol levels a little better to reduce abdominal fat and increase our bodies ability to improve muscle.
But stress isn't the whole picture. We need to have variety in the types of workouts we do for our bodies to give the biggest improvement. I've met gym enthusiasts who have no cardio. Swimmers that can't image working out away from the water and runners that couldn't lift a paper bag of apples. It's my belief that we need three types of exercise to round our our fitness and they shouldn't all be sourced from the same sport. We need long slow, relatively easy endurance work (preferably longer than 90 minutes), high intensity short interval work (the kind that leaves you out of breath and gasping) and exercise that stresses our skeletal muscles in the form of weight bearing training (either with weights, resistance or body weight). This variety will create a well rounded, lean and mean athlete.
I find myself in the gym fairly often, mostly with body weight exercises. I also cycle both outdoors and on my stationary bike and swim. Lately for whatever reason I've been struggling with motivation. I can't drag myself to the pool or lake to swim. I did however get out to my first spin class with my wife last week and found it fun. I'm not sure I'll adopt it as my ongoing regular thing, but until I can run again (very soon thankfully!) it would seem to fill the gap. Plus it's a great way to spend time with your partner.
Back to losing weight. If you have long slow easy endurance workouts in your life (I'd say at least once a week) your body should become more efficient at burning fat while exercising in addition to improving your aerobic fitness. HIIT (high intensity) work has an afterburner effect that continues to burn calories after you've stopped working out. My favourites are intervals on the stationary bike and the running track. Plus the absolute discomfort of a few minutes of HIIT training will make you tougher mentally on race day. Weight or resistance training increases lean muscle mass which raises your base metabolism as you burn more energy at rest to maintain that muscle.
Now if anyone can figure out how to get me back in the pool I'd be thrilled.